Macon Council Approves Terminal Station Lease

11:46 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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The Macon Transit Authority will lease Terminal Station for 15 years without an option to buy. That's the agreed upon time by city council members.

Mayor Robert Reichert tried to give MTA the building last year, but council members struck down his proposal.

Leaders at the transit authority say they need ownership or at least a long-term lease to apply for more federal grants.

Reichert suggested a 40-year lease with the option to buy the building at the end, but council members passed the amended version instead in Tuesday's meeting.

Some council members say they're concerned the transit authority still won't get federal grants without the option to buy Terminal Station.

"I would hope the transit authority and federal officials would see this as a 15 year contract, a 15 year partnership, that they wouldn't just take their marbles and go home because they're not getting the building at the end of 15 years," says councilman Rick Hutto. "A lot can happen in 15 years. We'll have a consolidated government long before that, so I'm hoping that they're willing to accept it as it is."

According to the transit authority, its goal is to find more grants to finish renovations on the historic building.

Also Tuesday, council put off a decision about entering into a contract with Macon-Bibb Workforce Development.

Right now, the city would have to pay for any misuse of money by the state-funded program.

Council members say, since they're responsible for that, they want more oversight on Workforce's budget, employment, and operations.

Some of them say the contract presented at Tuesday's meeting didn't meet those criteria.

Council member Elaine Lucas says, "What was troubling was that if there are errors made by Workforce, and we have to pay it back, then we have to go after Workforce to demand that they repay us for having to pay it back, and it's questionable as to whether we would ever recoup our money. So, I just think it's a dangerous contract to enter into."

City council will vote on the contract during its next full meeting in two weeks.

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